“Raisins that look like chocolate chips are the reason I have trust issues.”
Yesterday was one of those rare days when I actually got up at 5.30 in the morning and went for a jog.
It always feels good when I do that, but the only problem I face is that the day becomes way too long. I was showered and done with breakfast by 7.30 and with the house clean, my friends out of town and nothing to cook since V was not coming home for lunch that day and enough leftovers in the refrigerator for me, I had nothing much to do.
As a result I was wandering around the house aimlessly. I read my book for some time but then that also lost its charm and I ended up doing what I generally do when I am bored at home. Bake.
Well, either I bake or open the refrigerator, look for something to eat (read chocolate), realise it’s not healthy and shut the door, only to come back and repeat the process three times, before finally caving in. (Damn you, chocolate!)
Since I had finished the last piece of chocolate in my house, I ended up baking. And am glad that I did. Because these cookies are goooood. And not as bad for your weight as other cookies are. (No offence to other not so healthy cookies) Actually, no cookie would be the best but if you HAVE to eat something sweet (and we all know, sometimes we do NEED something sweet, or is it just me?), these are not that bad a choice to go with.
They are the right amount of chewy, crispy, soft that you would like in a cookie, with so many levels of texture and flavor in each bite. The toasted pecans and oat give them a crunch, raisins the sweetness, cinnamon the spice, the whole wheat flour the fibre and the chocolate and cinnamon chips a pleasant surprise.
And even though I am not a raisin fan, soaking the raisins in hot water before hand really helped in giving the raisins a more pleasant taste and as a result an oatmeal raisin cookie I can totally get on board with. Since raisins are a dried fruit, and can be very dry, with a very hard and chewy texture, plumping them in hot water, with a little vanilla can make them softer making a significant difference in how they taste. Its a great tip too if you plan to use raisins in salads. Try it, if you haven’t already and you will see what I mean.
I sent these with V to take to his office for the Thursday meetings he conducts, and from what he tells me these sold like hot cakes. When he came home for lunch today, he told me how almost everybody went for a second and some for a third cookie in his meeting. And these were pretty big cookies. Generally since there are not many people for his meetings, some of the baked stuff I send gets left over which V then keeps next to the coffee pot for anybody passing through to take. This time there were no cookies left to put next to the coffee pot. Apparently they were that good. And they taste even better the next day.
So go ahead make these. And with the whole wheat substitution and oats these are a good way to kickstart your morning or have as a snack when that stick of carrot just wouldnt do. You can also add some flax seed or chia seeds to just amp up the health factor a bit more.
A few thoughts about the cookie:
- For a chewier cookie remove the cookies before lightly browned and let the cookie sit on the cookie sheet for exactly 1 minute. Then remove them to cool on a rack.
- I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s recipe for Oatmeal pecan cookies. I did have some problem with the baking. The bottom does tend to brown quickly, even other reviewers suggested that. I guess it had something to do with the size of the cookie I chose, since my ice cream scoop is pretty big. I had to reduce the temp to 325 F and baked them a little longer than the recipe suggested. Depending on your oven and the size of cookie you choose, baking time will vary, so I suggest please keep an eye on the cookies, and if browning too quickly reduce temperature and make sure you switch your sheet pans half way through for even baking.
- I added some chocolate chips and cinnamon chips just for an extra surprise factor. I also wanted to add some shredded coconut but then I thought it would be too many things so did not. But I think coconut would go great in these cookies.
- Feel free to substitute all of the all purpose flour with whole wheat and also try adding some chia seeds or ground flax seed for extra fiber.
- Plump the raisins in some hot water before you use them, it makes the raisins soft. I am thinking of trying these cookies with craisins the next time. I think I will like the change.
- I used a mixture of both rolled old fashioned oats and quick cooking oats. Quick cooking oats are actually rolled oats that have been coarsely chopped. Breaking them down into smaller pieces enables them to cook more quickly. They have the exact same flavor as regular rolled oats, but have a slightly finer texture. Cookies that are made with this type of oatmeal tend to look a little “prettier” because they don’t have big oats floating around in them and they give a baked good a very uniform texture. So you can use both interchangeably. Just be sure NOT TO USE instant oats.
- 1½ cups pecans, toasted
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 extra large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour ( or use 1½ cups whole wheat flour and no all purpose flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups old fashioned oatmeal ( I use a mixture of both rolled oats and quick cooking oats. DO NOT USE INSTANT)
- 1 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes and then drained
- Optional: chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, craisins instead of raisins, shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350F and toast the pecans for 6-8 minutes till you can smell that the pecans are toasted. keep a check as nuts have a habit of going from lightly toasted to burnt in seconds. Set aside to cool and chop coarsely.
- Cream together butter and the sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time. Add in the vanilla.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, spices and salt together in a medium bowl.
- With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.
- Add in the oats, raisins, pecans, chips and mix until just combined.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon drop about 2 inch mounds of the dough onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
- With damp hands, flatten the dough mounds.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheet pans and reducing temperature after 12 minutes if browning too much. But remember not to over bake them else they will become too hard. The cookie will still be soft from the top, it may look undercooked but when cooling the cookie generally cooks through completely.
- Remove and let cool for a few seocnds on the pan before removing and letting it cool completely on a baking rack.